Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jeju - Day Three

For continuity this post is entitled Jeju - Day Three. But other than waking up in Jeju, that part of the trip was winding down. Sunday was all about Seoul. With an early morning meeting time, we had a bite at the hotel buffet and headed straight for the airport to catch our flight back to Seoul. The flight was as quick and easy going home as it was getting there. Less than hour till touch down back on terra firma.

We strayed from the schedule a little bit and it seemed like we were just winging it on Sunday for the most part. After a coffee stop to kill some time we headed to a nice restaurant near Gimpo Airport called Mad For Garlic. I am not the hugest fan of garlic (as anyone who knows me even remotely knows), so inwardly I was a little skeptical of my meal. I was deliciously surprised though. We pulled out all the stops for lunch and there was an array of starters passed around and people ordered some pretty impressive dishes. As did I. Once we heard there was no price cap on what we were ordering my eyes went straight to the lobster dishes. The surf and turf looked a little too big for that early in the day so I opted for a king crab and lobster pasta plate. I do love my seafood and this dish did NOT disappoint. My meal arrived with half a lobster sitting on top and although the environment was not so conducive to rolling up your sleeves and throwing on a bib to attack a lobster, I got the job done. And on the garlic front,  it merely had a hint of it, just how I like it. Until dessert of course where things took a turn for the worse. I came back from a trip to the bathroom and everyone had a small dish of ice cream. I was so full and couldn't really fit much more in but everyone was teasing that one of the ice cream flavours was garlic and we had to find out who had it. I was sure it was just a joke (who eats garlic flavoured ice cream?) until I spooned into my dessert. Disgusted, I got the garlic flavoured ice cream. I am sure to some people it wasn't that bad, and I admit it was an interesting concept, but since I am little weary on garlic in the first place, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Next stop on our agenda was to burn off some lunch and indulge in a good dose of K-Pop. Truth be told I don't like K-pop (for those who don't know K-pop music is basically the Korean version of cookie cutter type boy bands and girl bands, complete with matching skimpy outfits, silly routines and a general lack of sincere talent. Ouch!) Saying that, Sunday afternoon was a blast. I think I may have even turned over a new leaf and developed a new taste for a VERY little dose of K-pop. Especially live, cause it was hard NOT to get into the swing of things. Okay, Im jumping ahead. Where were we?

BEAST fans :)

Inky Gayo, SBS Studios

Packed streets lined up to see the show.

We were invited to SBS Studios (I am pretty sure they're the big guys here in Korea) to attend the filming of Inky Gayo, a weekly talent show of the latest and greatest K-pop stars. Another fun side of Korea I never would have experienced on my own. Most of the people around us were young teenaged girls holding signs and waving fans with their heart throbs faces on them. We watched about a dozen different performances, and though I couldn't tell you who most of them were, I had fun. This is one the groups, Orange Caramel. This song plays everywhere and it is a pretty typical representation (in my opinion) of most of the K-pop out there. Watch it till at least the first chorus "Baby sha, sha, sha..." and I guarantee it'll be stuck in your head for days. Quality stuff.

After an entertaining afternoon at Inky Gayo we headed to the Han River for some fresh air. I love being by the Han. It is always buzzing with people doing an array of different things, biking, running, walking, blading, picnicing, jamming, playing with kids, here, there and everywhere. We strolled for a while and then rented out bikes for a while. On a Sunday afternoon, with a nice breeze and the sun shining, everyone was out and about doing their thing. We hung out by the river for the rest of the afternoon. People were generally getting into end of the weekend wind down mode (read this also as completely and totally exhausted!).

Our dinner 'pod'.

A light meal to take a break from all the weekends indulgences.

We strolled a little further down the river till we got to Dongjakdaegyo Bridge. Dinner was waiting for us at the coolest cafe! It was perched high up above the river in a pod shaped building taking in all the view. After a weekend of eating out on heavy meals, I opted for a salad for dinner.  The meal was a really nice way to end the weekend. Before our food came, the amazing girls at KOCIS presented each one of us with a gift bag. Inside the bag was an awesome little selection of goodies. To elevate them from amazing to basically unbeatable, the piece de resistance was a personalized stamp for each of the bloggers. 'Sae Gim So Ri' seals or stamps are hand crafted and carved out of stone. My stamp is Alexandra written in hangeul and on the side of the stone is a carved picture of me and my full name Alexandra Louise DeMaria written out in. Unbelievably beautiful. Not only did they pick out a beautiful gift to award all of the bloggers with, but this is something I will keep forever and look back so fondly over from my days living in Korea.

It was a little sad to collect all my belongings and start the farewell process but I just couldn't get over how happy I was to be part of this whole weekend and all my involvement with The Korea Blog. Thanks KOCIS for an awesome weekend to everyone who was there and for all the hard work it must've taken to put it all together, nothing went unnoticed!

And that's it.

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